Developing water system technical capacity
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The importance of source water and infrastructure adequacy to technical capacity ... Water system capacity is the ability to plan for, achieve, and maintain ...

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Presentation Transcript

Workshop objectives
Workshop Objectives

  • An overview of technical capacity

  • The methods for assessing technical capacity

  • The importance of source water and infrastructure adequacy to technical capacity

  • The benefits of assessing and maintaining technical capacity

Fundamental goals of capacity development
Fundamental Goals of Capacity Development

  • To ensure consistent compliance with drinking water standards

  • To enhance water system performance

  • To promote continuous improvement

What is capacity
What is Capacity?

  • Water system capacity is the ability to plan for, achieve, and maintain compliance with applicable drinking water standards

  • For a water system to have “capacity” it must have adequate capability in three areas: technical, managerial, and financial

Capacity elements
Capacity Elements

  • Each capacity element – technical, managerial, and financial – is necessary but not sufficient

  • Many aspects of system operation involve more than one capacity element

  • Each element is important to ensure the protection of public health and meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

Managerial support



Planning inputs



Planning inputs

Managerial support



  • How would you define “technical capacity”?

  • What are the key characteristics of a system that has adequate technical capacity?

  • What are the key characteristics of a system that lacks adequate technical capacity?

Technical capacity
Technical Capacity

  • The physical and operational ability of a water system to meet SDWA requirements, including the adequacy of physical infrastructure and the technical knowledge and capability of personnel

Elements of technical capacity
Elements of Technical Capacity

  • Source water adequacy: quality and quantity

  • Infrastructure adequacy

  • System operations

Elements of technical capacity continued
Elements of Technical Capacity (continued)

  • Understand monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements

  • Ability to identify and prioritize limiting issues

  • Ability to obtain assistance and resolve limiting issues

Technical capacity1
Technical Capacity

  • The GOALS are to:

    • Identify system components or operating issues that are limiting the ability to consistently provide adequate water, both in quantity and quality

    • Develop a plan

    • Resolve limiting issues







Monitoring & reporting

Management & operations

Operator certification

Source water adequacy
Source Water Adequacy

  • Does the system have a reliable source of drinking water?

  • Is the source of generally good quality and adequately protected?

  • Is the source adequate to meet future needs?

Source adequacy quantity
Source Adequacy:Quantity

  • Can the system reliably deliver an adequate quantity from its sources)

    • Demand, production capacity, average and maximum daily production

    • Ability to meet future demand or need to identify alternative sources

    • Metering

    • Water use records

    • Contingency plan and redundant sources

    • Water rights

Source adequacy quality
Source Adequacy: Quality

  • Is the source of generally good quality?

    • Proximity to contamination sources

    • Monitoring and evaluating raw water quality

    • Treatment needed

    • Alternative sources

Source adequacy quality1
Source Adequacy: Quality

  • Does the system have a wellhead protection or source water protection plan?

    • Protect your source to minimize contamination and treatment

    • Proactive approach

    • Key is the ability to control land use in vicinity of the source where possible and to remain aware of potential land use issues

Source adequacy quality2
Source Adequacy: Quality

  • Source Water Assessment and Protection: Ground Water

    • Well location, construction

    • Classified as ground water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI)

    • Define recharge area

    • Identify sources of contamination within recharge area (agriculture, drainfields)

    • Emergency spill response plan

    • Awareness of land use issues and control of land use activities (where possible)

Source adequacy quality3
Source Adequacy: Quality

  • Source Water Assessment and Protection: Ground Water

    • Define area of contribution – e.g., watershed

    • Identify sources of contamination

      • Point and non-point sources

    • Reservoir treatment

    • Intake protection

    • Emergency spill response plan

    • Ability to control land use activities

Source adequacy quality4
Source Adequacy: Quality

  • Other sources

    • Springs

    • Roof catchments

  • Transmission from source to treatment facility

    • Distance between source and treatment may be extensive (miles of pipe or canal)

Infrastructure adequacy
Infrastructure Adequacy

  • Can the system provide water that meets SDWA standards and satisfies customers?

  • What is the condition of its infrastructure, from source of supply to distribution?

  • What is the infrastructure’s life expectancy?

  • Does the system have a capital improvement plan?

Infrastructure adequacy1
Infrastructure Adequacy

  • Can the system provide water that meets SDWA standards and satisfies customers?

    • Evaluate all system components for proper operation to maintain adequate water quality and quantity

    • Identify what components must be repaired, replaced or upgraded based on life expectancy and future needs

    • Develop a capital improvement plan

Infrastructure adequacy2
Infrastructure Adequacy

  • Can the system provide water that meets SDWA standards and satisfies customers?

    • Want to avoid:

      • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), treatment technique violation, detect of a contaminant can create a reaction-infrastructure repair or replacement

      • Customer complaints (taste, odor, low pressure) – also cause a reaction – infrastructure repair or replacement

Infrastructure adequacy3
Infrastructure Adequacy

  • Assess all system components for proper operation, life expectancy, and ability to meet current and future needs

    • The goal is to identify which components and equipment must be repaired, replaced, or improved through strategic planning

    • Through an asset inventory, develop a capital improvement plan

Infrastructure adequacy4
Infrastructure Adequacy

  • Evaluate all system components and equipment

    • Sources, intakes, transmission mains (already discussed)

    • Treatment

    • Storage

    • Pumps

    • Distribution system

Infrastructure adequacy treatment
Infrastructure Adequacy:Treatment

  • Treatment systems

    • Disinfection/hypochlorination

    • Filtration

    • Corrosion control

    • Iron and manganese removal

    • Organics removal

    • Water softening

    • Other

Infrastructure adequacy treatment1
Infrastructure Adequacy:Treatment

  • Must be aware of future rules with regard to treatment

  • Treatment proposed to address today’s problem may not be adequate for future regulations

  • Provide flexibility in treatment plant

Infrastructure adequacy treatment2
Infrastructure Adequacy:Treatment

  • Assess age and condition of treatment components

    • Chemical feed equipment

    • Treatment processes

    • Disinfection processes

    • Telemetry/SCADA

  • Identify components in need of replacement, repair, or upgrade

Infrastructure adequacy storage
Infrastructure Adequacy:Storage

  • Storage

    • Adequate volume and pressure

    • Adequate capacity for peak flow

    • Covers and screens

    • Tanks professionally inspected every three to five years or more frequently

Infrastructure adequacy storage1
Infrastructure Adequacy:Storage

  • Storage tanks are not maintenance-free

  • Need to routinely (monthly) check hatch; look inside with mirror and flashlight; and check screens on vents, overflows, drains

  • Tanks can be a source of microbial contaminants (birds, rodents)

Infrastructure adequacy storage2
Infrastructure Adequacy:Storage

  • Assess age and condition of storage facilities

  • Identify necessary repairs based on inspections (new liner)

  • Assess need for additional storage for future growth; storage tanks may allow system expansion without developing new sources (cost/benefit)

Infrastructure adequacy pumps
Infrastructure Adequacy:Pumps

  • Adequate security

  • Protection from flooding

  • Heating, ventilation, lighting, drainage

  • All units operable

  • Auxiliary power

  • Adequately sized

  • Maintenance and pumping records kept

  • Telemetry

Infrastructure adequacy distribution
Infrastructure Adequacy:Distribution

  • Material standards

  • Maps, as-built drawings, master plan

  • Distribution system monitoring

  • Flushing and hydrant testing

  • Leak detection program

  • Cross-connection control program

  • Meters

  • Valves

  • Complaints from customers about low pressure, inadequate water, aesthetics

Infrastructure adequacy5
Infrastructure Adequacy

  • Develop an asset inventory

    • After assessing all system components, identify those in need of repair and replacement in an asset inventory

    • Consider what components must be upgraded to meet demands

  • Ensure strategic planning

    • Consider what future regulations will affect the system and how (flexibility is key)

    • Develop capital improvement plan


  • How does a system’s infrastructure adequacy affect technical capacity?

  • How can a system ensure that its infrastructure is adequate?

System operations
System Operations

  • Is the system’s operator certified?

  • Do adequate resources exist to maintain safe and consistent operation of the system?

System operations1
System Operations

  • Does the system have an effective operation and maintenance program?

  • What training is available for operators, board members, council members, managers, owners?

System operations2
System Operations

  • Is the operator certified and current?

    • All CWSs and NTNCWSs are required to have a certified operator; some States also require TNCWSs to have a certified operator

    • Operator should be current with certification

    • Operator should be properly trained

    • Training can be obtained through the State or other agencies approved by the State

System operations3
System Operations

  • Adequate resources to maintain safe and consistent operation of system

    • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

    • As-builts

    • Operation & Maintenance (O&M) manuals- available and current

    • Adequate records on maintenance, repairs, water use, power use, chemical use

    • Other programs to consider – Vulnerability Assessment, Safety Program, Emergency Response Plan, Cross Connection Control Program

System operations4
System Operations

  • Standard operating procedures

    • Key to consistent operation and quality

    • Simple

      • Check pumps daily, record water use

    • Complex (surface water plant)

      • Chemicals use based on turbidity levels or streaming current data

System operations5
System Operations

  • Other programs to consider

    • Vulnerability assessments

    • Safety program

    • Emergency response plan

    • Cross connection control program

    • Leak detection program

    • Flushing schedule

    • Security

  • How often are programs or plans reviewed and updated?

System operations6
System Operations

  • Vulnerability assessments

  • Safety program

    • Chemical storage and handling

    • Confined space entry

  • Emergency response plans

    • Power outage

    • Drought – water rationing/conservation

    • Fire

    • Chemical spill

    • Flood (start-up procedures after a flood)

    • Sabotage and terrorist attack

System operations7
System Operations

  • Is training available for board members, council members, management, and operators?

    • Important for everyone involved with the water system to be knowledgeable of the system components, operation, responsibilities, and requirements

    • Results in better communication and better decisions

Monitoring reporting and recordkeeping
Monitoring, Reporting, and Recordkeeping

  • Has an approved sampling plan been established?

  • Is a certified laboratory used?

  • Is a monitoring schedule available?

  • When and how is information reported to the State?

  • What records must be kept by the system?

Monitoring reporting recordkeeping
Monitoring, Reporting, Recordkeeping

  • Monitoring requirements

    • Monitoring schedule available?

    • Sampling plan available?

  • Are samples being analyzed by a certified laboratory?

    • Not all labs certified for all contaminants

  • How is information submitted to the State?

    • Do labs send monitoring results to the State or is this the system’s responsibility?

Monitoring reporting recordkeeping1
Monitoring, Reporting, Recordkeeping

  • How are monitoring records kept and maintained?

    • Electronically, hard copy (big issue for surface water systems)

    • Operator or other system personnel keep records

  • What information must be kept by the system?

    • Some rules require system to retain records for State review during site visits

Monitoring reporting recordkeeping2
Monitoring, Reporting, Recordkeeping

  • What other records should be kept?

    • Maintenance and repair records

    • Water use records

    • Chemical use records

    • Letters from the State

  • Records are important!

    • Consumer Confidence Rule

    • Public notification

    • Inform management and public


  • What elements of a system’s operations contribute to its technical capacity?

  • How are monitoring, reporting, and record keeping related to technical capacity?

Identify and prioritize limiting issues
Identify and Prioritize Limiting Issues

  • How can limiting issues be identified?

  • What issues require immediate attention?

  • Ability to plan for the future

    • Future growth

    • Future rules

Identify and prioritize limiting issues1
Identify and Prioritize Limiting Issues

  • Methods to identify issues

    • Sanitary surveys or other State site visits

    • Letter from the State – MCL or treatment technique violation

    • Detect of contaminant (VOC, SOC)

    • Source water assessment

    • Self-assessment

Identify and prioritize limiting issues2
Identify and Prioritize Limiting Issues

  • Sanitary surveys or site visits

    • Effective tool

    • May only happen every 3 to 5 years – need to address issues between site visits

  • Letter from the State

    • MCL or treatment technique violation

    • Want to avoid this situation

Identify and prioritize limiting issues3
Identify and Prioritize Limiting Issues

  • Contaminant detection

    • Monitoring detects a contaminant, but still below MCL

    • Time to address issue

  • Source water assessment

    • Effective tool to identify sources of contamination

    • Can address the issue – reduce vulnerability

Identify and prioritize limiting issues4
Identify and Prioritize Limiting Issues

  • Self-assessment

    • Use tools discussed today

    • Be proactive – don’t wait for the problem to occur

    • Can result in $$$$$ savings – easier to schedule repairs than pay for overtime in an emergency situation

Identify and prioritize limiting issues5
Identify and Prioritize Limiting Issues

  • Methods to prioritize issues

    • Immediate health risk

    • Inability to provide adequate quantity of water

    • Equipment must be replaced immediately

    • Detection of contaminant a concern but not a health risk

Obtain technical assistance and resolve limiting issues
Obtain Technical Assistance and Resolve Limiting Issues

  • State

  • Local American Water Works Association (AWWA), National Rural Water Association (NRWA)

  • Midwest Assistance Program (MAP)/Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)

  • Training

  • Nearby utility

Obtain assistance and resolve limiting issues
Obtain Assistance and Resolve Limiting Issues

  • Must resolve limiting issues – may be required to act quickly depending on the issue

  • May need to have $$$ in reserve or pursue grants and loans

  • Plan ahead – grant and loan money typically a 2-year process (grant application, election, public notice)

Technical capacity summary
Technical Capacity: Summary

  • To achieve and maintain technical capacity a system should:

    • Identify the system components or operating issues that are limiting the ability to provide adequate water

    • Prioritize issues and develop a long-term strategic plan

    • Obtain assistance (technical and financial)

Exercise self assessment
Exercise: Self-Assessment

  • Completing the self-assessment form can help you assess your system’s technical capacity.